A dental team found a previously undiscovered symptom that could help detect asymptomatic COVID-19 virus cases: oral lesions. Dentists at The Baltimore Center of Advanced Dentistry in Lutherville noted gum bleeding and multiple oral lesions in the mouths of two teen patients who normally display “exquisite oral hygiene.” Concerned by this development, they called in Dr. Gary Bauman, who requested permission to perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests.
Both patients, and several family members, tested positive for COVID-19, but displayed no other symptoms. “The lesions were the only sign of COVID-19,” Bauman said. Samples from the lesions were then sent to the lab, which confirmed that they weren’t caused by herpes or other known viruses. This may be the first case of diagnosing an asymptomatic case of COVID-19 from lesions in the mouth, and Dr. Bauman has submitted their findings for further study.
Dr. Bauman wants dentists everywhere to be aware of these potential symptoms. “We have asymptomatic cases out there,” Bauman added. “I don’t want dentists to let their guards down. Some people are getting vaccinated, but those aren’t the ones we need to worry about. The ones who don’t know they have it or aren’t telling you, those are the ones we should be looking for to prevent the spread.”
If you notice lesions in the mouths of otherwise healthy patients, it may be a sign of an asymptomatic carrier. Keeping a record of a similar finding could help further research and understand asymptomatic spread.
ProSites is proud of all the work dentists have done and are doing to prevent community spread. We are particularly proud of our customer, Dr. Bauman, for this ground-breaking discovery!
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